Long Live the Catechism

Earlier this week, as I was rationing out the last few drops of milk in our milk carton among the three kids at breakfast, one of them made known her displeasure about sharing the last of the milk with her siblings.  I jumped right in and expressed how thankful I am that we have milk in abundance.  I explained that even though we were running a bit short that particular morning, it was no problem for me to run out and grab another gallon of milk as soon as time permitted.  I tried to explain to them that some families don’t know where their next gallon of milk is coming from and how thankful I am that God has provided us with all that we need and so much more.

At the mention of God, R burst out with a question so profound only a 3-year-old would dare voice it: “Where is God?”

Wishing desperately that my husband were there to take over the handling of this weighty subject, I first said that God is in heaven and then I realized how incomplete that answer was so I haltingly tried to explain that God is a spirit so He can also be here with us.  As I stuttered and tried to explain God’s whereabouts in 3-year-old language, my 8-year-old son suddenly came to my rescue.

“God is everywhere, Becca!”

I stopped dead in my tracks as I immediately recognized the familiar answer to the 10th question in the Catechim for Young Children.  I knew that all my bumbling around was for naught because the answer was really so very simple — so simple that young children everywhere have it memorized.

GOD IS EVERYWHERE.  How perfectly wonderful.

And amazingly, my inquisitive 3-year-old was satisfied with that answer.  And the topic of conversation soon changed to who had brushed their teeth and what I should pack in their lunches.

But I have thought about that conversation over the past week.  And it occurs to me how valuable the catechism is for teaching children (and adults, as clearly I could use a recap myself) the basic tenants of what we believe.  In one simple statement my son was able to sum up what I was struggling to explain in a succession of rapidly disintegrating sentences.  I guess I should brush up on the catechism before our next breakfast conversation.